Sic Transit Gloria Scotiae
(excerpt from A Drunk Man Looks At A Thistle, read by Hugh MacDiarmid. Music - Evacuation by Evan Johns and the H-Bombs. Mixed by The Plagiarist)
It's gey and hard wark coupin gless for gless
Wi Cruvie and Gilsanquar and the like,
And I'm no juist as bauld as aince I wes.
The elbuck fankles in the coorse o time,
The sheckle's no sae souple, and the thrapple
Grows deef and dour: nae langer up and doun
Gleg as a squirrel speils the Adam's apple.
Forbye, the stuffie's no the real MacKay.
The sun's sel aince, as sune as ye began it,
Riz in your vera saul: but what keeks in
Noo is in truth the vilest 'saxpenny planet'.
And as the worth's gane doun the cost has risen.
Yin canna thow the cockles o yin's hert
Wi-oot haen cauld feet noo, jalousin what
The wife'll say [I dinna blame her fur't].
It's robbin Peter to pey Paul at least....
And aa that's Scotch aboot it is the name,
Like aa thing else caad Scottish nooadays
- Aa destitute o speerit juist the same.
[To prove my saul is Scots I maun begin
Wi what's still deemed Scots and the folk expect,
And spire up syne by visible degrees
To heichts whereo the fules hae never recked.
But aince I get them there I'll whummle them
And souse the craturs in the nether deeps,
- For it's nae choice, and ony man s'ud wish
To dree the goat's wierd tae as weel's the sheep's!]
Heifetz in tartan, and Sir Harry Lauder!
Whaur's Isadora Duncan dancin noo?
Is Mary Garden in Chicago still
And Duncan Grant in Paris - and me fou?
Sic transit gloria Scotiae aa the flooers
O the Forest are wede awaa. [A blin bird's nest
Is aiblins biggin in the thistle tho?...
And better blin if'ts brood is like the rest!]
You canna gang to a Burns supper even
Wi-oot some wizened scrunt o a knock-knee
Chinee turns roon to say, 'Him Haggis - velly goot!'
And ten to wan the piper is a Cockney.
No wan in fifty kens a wurd Burns wrote
But misapplied is aabody's property,
And gin there was his like alive the day
They's be the last a kennin haund to gie -
Croose London Scotties wi their braw shirt fronts
And aa their fancy freens rejoicin
That similah gatherings in Timbuctoo,
Bagdad - and Hell, nae doot - are voicin
Burns' sentiments o universal love,
In pidgin English or in wild-fowl Scots,
And toastin ane wha's nocht to them but an
Excuse for faitherin Genius wi their thochts.
Aa they've to say was aften said afore,
A lad was born in Kyle to blaw aboot.
What unco fate maks him the dumpin-grun
For aa the sloppy rubbish they jaw oot?
Mair nonsense has been uttered in his name
Than in ony's barrin liberty and Christ.
If this keeps spreedin as the drink declines,
Syne turns to tea, wae's me for the Zietgeist!
Rabbie, wad'st thou were here - the warld hath need,
And Scotland mair sae, o the likes o thee!
The whisky that aince moved your lyre's become
A laxative for aa loquacity.
O gin they'd stegh their guts and haud their wheesht
I'd thole it, for 'a man's a man' I ken
But though the feck hae plenty o the 'aa that'.
They're nocht but zoologically men.
I'm haverin, Rabbie, but ye understaun
It gets my dander up to see your star
A bauble in Babel, banged like a saxpence
Twixt Burbank's Baedeker and Bleistein's cigar.
There's nane sae ignorant but think they can
Expatiate on you, if on nae ither.
The sumphs hae taen you at your wurd, and fegs!
The foziest o them claims to be a - Brither!
(from the album A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle, Part 1)
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